Apple iPhone 6 review: Scaled to order

Scaled to order

GSMArena team, 26 September 2014.

iPhone 6 retail package

The iPhone 6 comes in a box that's not much different from what we're used to. Perhaps the only change is that there is no longer a real image of the phone printed on the box, but an outline instead. The box is always white no matter which color version you go for.

The box contents are the same as before as well - there is the Apple's USB cable with a Lightning connector, an AC adapter, and the Apple EarPods headset with volume controls and microphone in their separate box. There is a SIM eject tool as well. Inside we also found a quick user manual and a couple of Apple fan stickers.

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Apple iPhone 6 retail box

The bundled charger is a regular 1A unit, but we've heard reports that unlike the last year's iPhone, the iPhone 6 would actually charge faster if you hook it to a 2+A charger like the one supplied with the Apple iPads. Our test showed a 25% increase in the current when the iPhone was hooked to a 2.4A iPad Air charger so we'd say these reports are somewhat exaggerated.

Apple iPhone 6 360-degree spin

Having in mind that the screen size has increased, the iPhone 6 is understandably bigger than the iPhone 5s. It's also heavier at 129g (as opposed to 112g), but it's almost a millimeter slimmer at 6.9mm.

If you ask us, even the last two iPhones were already slimmer than the regular user's needs. Perhaps, as the reports of a "bend gate" keep coming in, it's perhaps too thin for its own good.

Easily bendable or not, we would pick a beefier battery over an ultra thin profile any day. We can only imagine the extra battery capacity we could have enjoyed had the iPhone 6 had just a single millimeter of extra thickness.

Design and handling

At 4.7 inches, the iPhone 6 is more comparable size-wise to the Android minis rather than the competing flagships, which it will have to battle for the public affection.

Its screen-to-body ratio is nothing to write home about either although the side bezels are relatively unobtrusive. Still, with the Nexus 5, LG has managed to fit a good 5-inch screen inside a similarly-sized body frame, while Samsung's Galaxy Alpha fits a 4.7-inch screen within a smaller (and even thinner!) body.

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Apple iPhone 6 compared to LG Nexus 5 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha (right)

If cheaper smartphones can do it, we think the most expensive smartphone on the market should be able to offer more impressive screen-to-body ratio.

That said, Apple indeed offers a class leading build quality. There are hardly any flaws in the unibody construction. All parts fit perfectly and in usual Apple style, everything feels the part.

The changes to the last year's model are numerous and are visible from a distance. Gone are the glass panels on the back and plastic trimmings line the top and bottom. These are needed so the internal antennas can pick up signal through the metal back. The strips are all plastic, and look it, honestly are our least favorite part of this year's redesign. They feel cheap and are nowhere near as classy as last year's glass finish.

The rounded edges are probably the most prominent new design change and although appreciating them is strictly a matter of personal taste, we think they make the phone rather slippery, even more so when you are stretching your thumb across the larger screen diagonal.

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Apple iPhone 6 • the iPhone 6 compared to the iPhone 5S (the iPhone 6 Plus easy to spot as well)

The front is covered with a scratch-resistant glass (the strongest one in the industry, Apple claims), but we already managed to inflict a small scratch on ours during our tests (no dropping involved).

The edges thereof are bent (in a good way) - an effect which is more clearly perceivable on the version with a black front. In either case, swiping gestures across the screen feel great with the curved corners and we very much enjoy this design decision (although for the record, it's not an Apple's first).

Handling the iPhone 6 is an altogether new feeling and thanks mainly to the rounded edges, it feels completely different to last year's iPhone. The size is just about right and thanks to the rounded corners, it feels quite slimmer than what the 0.7mm difference to the iPhone 5S profile suggests.

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Handling the iPhone 6

Reader comments

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